Locals are worried about the more than 1,000 jobs that could be lost in Imperial County should the governor’s proposed redevelopment elimination go through.
The California Redevelopment Association issued a report earlier this week, detailing the 304,000 jobs throughout the state that would be lost without redevelopment agencies. The numbers include both direct and indirect jobs, like construction work, city staff and more.
Jerry Brown seem to be the same local fund raids that residents have tried to end, said John Shirey, executive director of the association.
“It will bring little financial benefit to the state, but will permanently destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions in local economic activity in every region throughout the state,” he said in a statement.
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While Imperial City Manager Marlene Best couldn’t say whether the estimates are correct, the money locally has been used to do a lot of good. There would be a lot of jobs that wouldn’t be started without redevelopment agencies.
Since 2004 about $6.85 million has been invested, garnering about $33.28 million in private investment, she said.
The city has been able to do a variety of work in the redevelopment zone, like improving roads, assisting businesses and park maintenance, Best said.
“That’s only a partial list,” she added. “We’ve done a lot of things in Imperial, and that’s because of redevelopment.”
Another city that would feel the hit is El Centro, which stands to lose the most jobs, according to the report.
“I think the impact is huge,” said Councilman Jon Edney.
The money is not state funds that aren’t going to be given to local jurisdictions, he said. It is local property tax that the state will not keep at the local level.
Most residents don’t see a big benefit from state resources, he said. However, when the money is spent locally, people can see it.
“They do see it here,” he said. “They do see what their tax dollars are doing.”
Staff Writer Elizabeth Varin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 760-337-3441.
By the numbers
Jobs lost if redevelopment is cut
410 — El Centro
340 — Calexico
160 — Imperial
127 — Brawley
46 — Holtville
32 — Calipatria
14 — Westmorland
1,130 — Imperial County total